This weekend at Intern China Chengdu our team went to Dufu Cottage followed by a relaxing afternoon of Mahjong and Tea drinking.
Dufu is a very famous Chinese poet born in the 7th century. He resided in Chengdu for 4 years during the AnShan Revolution which led to him fleeing from his home town of LuoYang in Henan province. During his time in Chengdu he lived in a modest thatched cottage by the flower rinsing shores of the river in the west of Chengdu.
It is here he is said to have been most prolific in terms of his output of poetry, writing over 240 poems. Taking in the scenery in this beautiful area of Chengdu it is easy to see where he got his influence and motivation for writing such an great number of poems.
In the grounds of Dufu’s Cottage you can see a wide variety of blossoming plants as well as a wide range of classic architecture and buildings. Including the famous hut by the river where Dufu would spend his days gazing over the river watching the wildlife.
After walking the grounds at the cottage and getting some fantastic Sichuan food for lunch we headed to a Mahjong house near to WenShu Monastery.
When arriving at the Mahjong house we chose a room with a view over the street, in hindsight this probably wasn’t the greatest idea. This being my first time playing I was amazed by the table at which we were playing. It had an in built shuffling device, contained two sets of tiles and also an under table heater to keep our feet warm.
After being taught the rules by the rest of the IC Chengdu team we began to play. Let’s just say it didn’t go too well for myself but we were having fun.
During our time playing the passing locals seemed shocked and amazed at the foreigners playing Mahjong. Asking if we knew how to play, taking photos. One gentleman even took it upon himself to stand by our table for 20mins offering instructions. Including getting animated if any of us were to do one thing even slightly wrong.
All in all it was a great day out, relaxing enjoying 3 hours of Mahjong and the serenity and tranquility of Dufu’s cottage made for a great Saturday in Chengdu.
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The Lantern Festival is celebrated in China on the 15th day of the New Lunar Year. It symbolises the passing of winter and the declining of darkness, and as the lanterns are released into the sky, also symbolises a new start. It’s a chance for families to get together again before life goes back to normal after the Spring Festival. The glutinous, black sesame filled rice balls, tangyuan 汤圆, are the traditional dessert for this period.
In Chengdu, the InternChina team and Co. celebrated this year’s Lantern Festival with our Language partner school. There was a variety of cultural activities we could take part in, which included tangyuan-making, calligraphy workshops, Chinese paper cutting, drinking tea and quizzes. Each of the activities was fun and engaging, but I do believe that most of us got stuck in the tangyuan room!
The sweet, squidgy dessert is made from glutinous rice flower with a bit of water. They can be either filled or unfilled, but traditionally they will have a black sesame paste filling. Nowadays you can find them stuffed with almost anything however – peanut butter is one of my favourites. Though a fairly simple concept, it’s not actually that easy to roll the balls and make sure none of the filling spills out and ‘stains’ the snow white dough. The mixture is also prone to drying out quickly, so there was some time pressure too. It took us a couple of tries to get them right!
Next stop was calligraphy. Here we had the opportunity to let out our inner artists and have a go with the Chinese calligraphy brush. Unlike the ones we’re used to from home, these brushes are usually thicker and softer and the correct way to hold them is also different (and quite tricky to begin with..).
In the evening, people gathered by the river to set off paper lanterns and enjoy the last few fireworks. There’s something very calming about watching the little red and yellow light rise into the sky
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I went to a host family with Study China Programme participant Anna last night, and had dinner with the family, our intern Pierre came to this family almost 2 months, every time I called the host family, they always told me what interesting things they did and how happy they are. I think this is the most interesting thing from my job. I feel really very happy.
Before the Study China Programme participants came, I felt so nervous. Since february, I started to visit families, then select families for students. Most of the families are first time host students, I always scare they could not get along very well. But now when I see the 16 families and 16 students are both so happy for their unique experiences. I feel everything is worth!
Here are some pictures, they also invited some friends and relative to their home yesterday, we made dumplings and had dinner together. Because the husband of this family Mr Li is tea lover, so we drunk some tea together after dinner.
Hi! This is Sunny from Intern China Zhuhai Office. Last Wednesday, we organized a calligraphy lesson for our interns. The teacher is my friend who is interested in Chinese traditional culture so much and has been practising for more than 30 years.
When we arrived at his office, he showed tea culture to us first, we tasted 3 different of tea first, he showed us how to make Kongfu Tea (功夫茶) and how to taste it.
KongFu tea, is not a name of a kind of tea but a drinking way and a culture. The procedures require skills and patience. These years it’s very popular in Japan and South Korea.
“Wow, so good!”
After the Tea tasting, we started our calligraphy class.
Firstly ,the teacher briefed us the history of Chinese calligraphy. introduced us “文房四宝”( Four Treasures of Calligraphy)—笔(bǐ, brush-pen),
墨(mò,ink), 纸( zhǐ,paper), 砚(yàn,ink stone)
笔(bǐ, brush-pen),how to handle a brush pen
Karl’s first time trying ,but she was good at it. Jamie is not too bad at it 🙂
This is me, not bad at all! Right?! For our office. You will see it when you come to Intern China’s Zhuhai office.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Xunzi (荀子) 不闻不若闻之,闻之不若见之,见之不若知之,知之不若行之。学至于行而止矣。
Chun Lian (春联)